Wii Virtual Console Forum

Topic: The Lost Levels (Impressions)

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NESnes

1. Posted:

I just downloaded SMB: The Lost Levels. I had previously played this game on Super Mario All-Stars (SNES) and Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (GBC), but nothing could have prepared me for this game. In Japan, this WAS Super Mario Bros. 2, and while in America, our turnip-plucking SMB 2 seemed to be the odd duck in the series, it turns out so is "The Lost Levels". Everything in the original SMB applies to SMB 3 and Super Mario World. I am a huge fan of the original SMB, and a more joyful gaming experience is rare. I love the return of the music, the graphics (with a few new additional sprites-backgrounds mostly)...

...but WHAT THE HECK is going on here? All of the most common Mario maneuvers, the basic, structural, ingrained, deep-rooted, inherent moves are now all but gone completely. This is the game where Mario loses the name 'Jumpman' it feels like he is wearing 50 pounds of chain mail. Mario can no longer change direction in mid-air (well maybe a pixel or two). Instead of running full speed as soon as you hold B and towards, it takes Mario awhile to accelerate. Instead of having full-height jump capabilities at all times, you can only execute a full jump at a full speed run. Since the screen progressively scrolls forwards, and never budges a pixel back, this can lead to many problems. In world 2-2 for instance, you must advance to a hidden block, and use it as a step-stool to reach a high platform, but you can only get on top of it if you execute a full jump- that means that if you miss the jump, chances are you can't make it again due to the scrolling screen, forcing you to die by the clock or by bottomless pit. Also the Mario brothers have a powerful inertia, if you jump in a direction, they keep going. In the original SMB you could drop out of a jump and land with no trouble, now you will keep going, unless you jump immediately upon landing, and even this does not always work. Even an expert SMB player will helplessly fall into many pits and traps that they would never fall prey to in the original. This leads to a very frustrating experience, never before has playing Mario led me to profanity. I do not understand why they would change the basic gameplay physics, except for an unwarranted 'realism'.

I am not one to shy away from challenge, I am an avid Mega Man fan, It is just that the original is so deeply-ingrained in my memory, that when I look at this game and hear it's music, I think I have all the abilities available from the original. I find myself not being able to fight these strong instincts very well at all, and mashing down the 'A' button in a vain attempt to jump higher or farther, making my thumb sore.

This is not a bad game download, not at all. You just should be aware of these changes before buying or playing, because this may not be for everybody...

[Perhaps if they released a version with the original physics, no mario/luigi gameplay differences, and 2-player alternating mode]

Edited on by NESnes

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Adam

2. Posted:

NESnes wrote:

[Perhaps if they released a version with the original physics, no mario/luigi gameplay differences, and 2-player alternating mode]

Though it likely will not happen, I'd love that. It is a fun game, and the cheap tricks the game pulls are funny, but that sort of fun would be more enjoyable with two players laughing at each other's mistakes. The original physics were better, though I do like having the option for the higher jumping, more slippery character. Still, it'd be a worthwhile sacrifice.

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Pegasus

3. Posted:

From the get-go, The Lost Levels was supposed to be an expert's game. Frankly, I don't see anything appealing about it. It's no wonder Nintendo decided to keep it Japan-only for all these years.

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NESnes

4. Posted:

actually i am almost getting the hang of it now, i beat it on the GBC, but that was a different ballgame

NESnes

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XD375

5. Posted:

Doesn't the All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels have similar physics to the All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros.?

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Corbs

6. Posted:

The game feels like a harder version of the original Super Mario Bros. to me. I love it.

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TwilightV

7. Posted:

It's the experience true gamers crave. The ultimate challenge. Watching Arino have a really hard time with it is FUN. Especially when he thinks he's beaten it, just to find out there's another challenge.

TwilightV

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warioswoods

8. Posted:

This is the game where Mario loses the name 'Jumpman' it feels like he is wearing 50 pounds of chain mail. Mario can no longer change direction in mid-air (well maybe a pixel or two). Instead of running full speed as soon as you hold B and towards, it takes Mario awhile to accelerate. Instead of having full-height jump capabilities at all times, you can only execute a full jump at a full speed run.

Also the Mario brothers have a powerful inertia, if you jump in a direction, they keep going. In the original SMB you could drop out of a jump and land with no trouble, now you will keep going, unless you jump immediately upon landing, and even this does not always work. Even an expert SMB player will helplessly fall into many pits and traps that they would never fall prey to in the original.

Not sure what you're talking about here. Everything you describe was already like that in the first Super Mario Brothers. Perhaps it's been too long since you played that one; did you think you ever had the ability to reverse direction or that any of these other things weren't identical in that game?

EDIT: I see that you've only played the GBC version of the first Mario game, but then you really should amend your statements. Nearly all the ways that you are saying this game was uniquely difficult compared to prior Mario games were already present in the first game; it's in the other areas, like the new enemies, and in particular the level design, where this title is more difficult. The physics when playing as Mario are not substantially different.

Edited on by warioswoods

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Adam

9. Posted:

The GBC remake was quite nice. I had no idea Mario 2 was included when I owned it. I loved the red coins and Yoshi egg challenges. The smaller area on screen made it harder though, which was annoying.

I'm currently playing Mario 2 again, and without warps I can't seem to get past 4-3 (in its original Famicom version). That jump on the two paratroopas at the end keeps falling a hair short for me. :(

Great game though! I don't notice any difference between Mario in this or Mario in the original, so it can't be that much different.

EDIT: Oh, you don't have to use the koopas, haha. Whoops. Duh.

Edited on by Adam

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greyelephant

10. Posted:

Yes, I found this version to be much more difficult than the original. Very frusterating at times, but I have to admit, I love it just the same. I like the challenge of it.

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NESnes

11. Posted:

Well, I am now on World 8 of 'Super Mario Bros. for Masochists' lol...
The GBC version had no wind, and it didn't have the new sprites or physics

@warioswoods: I dunno what you're talking about. The jumping and sliding has definitely changed
from Super Mario 1, although if you are new to the series, it might not seem very noticeable, I grant you,
however I grew up on SMB1 and the differences are obvious to me...

one major difference is not being able to jump gaps without a running start


I do have a lot of respect for Nintendo finally releasing the original version here...
as far as I know they have never made a game this challenging again, I really
am not fond of the casual gamer drive with some of these Wii titles


@warioswoods: There is a misunderstanding. I have played

SMB (NES)
SMB/Duck Hunt (NES)
SM All-Stars (SNES)
SMB DX (GBC)
SMB:LL (Wii VC)

Edited on by NESnes

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Machu

12. Posted:

It broke my balls!

Rawr!

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warioswoods

13. Posted:

I also grew up on SMB1 on NES, and I was noting that you specifically referred to the following items as being completely new in SMB:LL, when that is entirely untrue; all of the following 'changes' you noted were already in the first game:

Mario can no longer change direction in mid-air (well maybe a pixel or two).

Instead of running full speed as soon as you hold B and towards, it takes Mario awhile to accelerate. Instead of having full-height jump capabilities at all times, you can only execute a full jump at a full speed run

In the original SMB you could drop out of a jump and land with no trouble, now you will keep going, unless you jump immediately upon landing, and even this does not always work.

Everything above was in the original game; even the last item, the Mario inertia, for I remember almost always having to make another small jump to stop sliding when landing on a small spot in the original game. Even your newest item:

one major difference is not being able to jump gaps without a running start

While it's up for interpretation how big a "gap" needs to be, that is absolutely true of the first title. What you are describing in all of the above quotes represents pretty well exactly the physics of the original game; and I know this from being an enormous fan of the series myself. The one thing that really separated the original SMB from all other platformers before it, and that people often forget, was the addition of (1) momentum and (2) inertia. Managing your running, having enough space to get up speed before a jump, managing your landing by often needing to add another hop, those are the key elements of the first game.

If you are now amending your key assertions to a lesser claim that these elements are simply enhanced a bit in the second title, that could be a separate debate, but (1) you were making the stronger claim above that these were newly introduced in the second game, and (2) I don't believe they are really even enhanced in any substantial way for the second; the only real physics changes are little things like being able to bounce higher off an enemy. My guess is that it's just been too long since you played the first SMB (not All-Stars or DX with their altered physics). It was already a hard game with pretty much the exact same physics as Lost Levels, it's just that LL has far more difficult level design that exploits these issues.

Edited on by warioswoods

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Adam

14. Posted:

Out of curiosity, do you guys tend to use Mario or Luigi more in the original version of the game? I'm playing through as Mario right now because I figured it'd be easier. If it didn't take forever just to get to world 5, I'd reset so I could try as both, but I don't want to lose all this progress!

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Xiao_Pai

15. Posted:

I've never really took the time to actually play this game, did try it out a couple times on All-Stars but that was it. I'm thinking of downloading it for the heck of it sometime soon though.

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warioswoods

16. Posted:

Choosing between the brothers is a really difficult decision for me as well when playing the game; I wish it would allow the switch on each new level or life the way SMB2:US did it.

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CowLaunch

17. Posted:

weirdadam wrote:

Out of curiosity, do you guys tend to use Mario or Luigi more in the original version of the game? I'm playing through as Mario right now because I figured it'd be easier. If it didn't take forever just to get to world 5, I'd reset so I could try as both, but I don't want to lose all this progress!

If I'm trying to go through the game with warps, then I use Mario. If I decide to try to get through it without warping then I use Luigi because I think his jumping ability is quite useful in the later levels and if you're not warping then you've got enough levels to get used to handling Luigi (it seems like turning a tractor around sometimes).

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Mama_Luigi

18. Posted:

warioswoods wrote:

Choosing between the brothers is a really difficult decision for me as well when playing the game; I wish it would allow the switch on each new level or life the way SMB2:US did it.

That's exactly what i want to do in 4-3. >:(

Mama_Luigi

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Adam

19. Posted:

I wish I could do that in 5-3. :(

On a side note, it would be cool if Nintendo made a simultaneous co-op game a la Little Big Planet with each player having unique physics like in the Mario 2's.

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NESnes

20. Posted:

@warioswoods: Another of the many valid differences I listed is:
how if you grab a mushroom from a block's side and hold left or right in SMB1 you will slide under the block, in SMB:LL, you will fall to your death. You can only press left or right to slide under AFTER you have fallen beneath the block's height


Anyway, I have beat SMB: LL now, but I only made it to world 9-2 before dying...phooey!

Edited on by NESnes

NESnes